Slain mum's final hours in hospital

 

Mourners have heard of the heroic and loving nature of mother Hannah Clarke at a vigil in south Brisbane to remember her and her three murdered children.

A heartbroken community on Sunday evening stood by the family and friends of Ms Clarke and her children Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey who were killed at the hands of Rowan Baxter.

Baxter murdered his children and former partner by setting the car they were in alight while Hannah was doing the morning school run.

About 1000 people gathered in a south Brisbane park for Sunday evening's vigil.

 

Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children, Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey. Picture: AAP
Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke at the vigil for Hannah Clarke and her three children, Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey. Picture: AAP

 

Friend Simon Farmer spoke to The Australian about Ms Clarke's final hours in hospital, after she had suffered burns to 97 per cent of her body.

"We were in the ICU and we knew there was no hope,'' Mr Farmer told The Australian.

"The nurse held up the footprint and said, 'This is all we could get'. It was just an incredibly powerful moment.''

The day after Ms Clarke's murder, Mr Farmer posted on Facebook about the "unease" shared among her friends about "what Rowan might do".

"He had it in him many thought," Mr Farmer posted.

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Mr Farmer said Baxter loved his children, but "we can't remember him as a loving father because his final act is what defines this man, this man who became a monster".

He also talked about Ms Clarke's final hours in hospital after the tragedy.

"She hung in there too...until the last heartbeat brought a tidal wave of grief and anger. I'll never forget that.

"You should all know how strong she was, she fought so hard."

Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey were killed by their father.
Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey were killed by their father.

Dressed in pink, Hannah's father Lloyd and brother Nat, thanked the crowd for their support.

"We would have felt lost without all your support," Lloyd Clarke said.

"I don't know how we can repay such kindness."

Many who addressed the crowd spoke of Hannah's courage and love.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said Hannah was able to give a detailed account of the attack while fighting for her life.

RELATED: Hannah Clarke's emotional texts before her death revealed

 

The Story Bridge is seen lit up in pink in memory of Hannah Clarke and her children. Picture: Getty Images
The Story Bridge is seen lit up in pink in memory of Hannah Clarke and her children. Picture: Getty Images

 

While many tried to remember the best of Ms Clarke and her children, many could not hide their grief over one of the state's worst acts of domestic violence.

The children died at the scene while Hannah died in hospital. Baxter died from self-inflicted injuries, say police.

A mass of flowers and children's toys were laid at the front of the vigil, while hundreds of condolence messages have been written by a community still in shock.

 

Lloyd and Nathaniel Clarke, father and brother to Hannah Clarke, speak at a vigil to remember her and her three children. Picture: Getty Images
Lloyd and Nathaniel Clarke, father and brother to Hannah Clarke, speak at a vigil to remember her and her three children. Picture: Getty Images

 

Nikki Brookes was a friend of Ms Clarke, and had to hold back tears as she addressed the crowd. She called for the community to not turn a blind eye to domestic violence.

"We are a nation in pain," she said.

"Don't back away from your friends for the sake of convenience. "Time's up on domestic violence."

 

Hannah Clarke was remembered as a doting and loving mother to her three children.
Hannah Clarke was remembered as a doting and loving mother to her three children.

It emerged at the weekend that Baxter rejected his lawyer's advice during a mediation session with Clarke and refused to sign the order that would allow him 165 days of custody per year.

Instead, Baxter signed a non-legally binding agreement that gave him just as much access to the children as their mother.

However, he lost access to his children in early February when police charged him with breaching a domestic violence order (DVO).

"He got the children back but … he wanted 50-50, that was it. It was his way or nothing," the source told the ABC.

"In my view, it wasn't about the children at all, he just couldn't move past the relationship with Hannah."

 

 

The Clarke family say more needs to be done to ensure victims are better protected from their abusers, and are hoping to establish a support system for women suffering at the hands of domestic violence.

Following news of the shocking Brisbane attack, officials have reported a surge in the number of men seeking help to stop committing domestic violence in Queensland.

The shocking attack has seen more people turn to domestic violence services for help, Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Minister Di Farmer says.

"I've spoken with many people who work in the DFV sector and everyone has been absolutely devastated by the deaths of Hannah and her little babies," Ms Farmer told AAP.

"But they've also said that in the past few days, they've seen an incredible surge in calls from people asking for help - and importantly, from people asking for help to stop being violent."

AAP



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